The OCWLA is dedicated to advancing women in the legal profession. We support the continued growth and development of the OCWLA and its members by providing an exceptional professional network, raising awareness of discrimination and bias, and supporting worthy charitable organizations.
Orange County Women Lawyers was founded in 1975, with five members, as the Women and Individual Rights section of the Orange County Bar Association. In the fall of 1973, a group of attorneys met for lunch to discuss the formation of the section. The original goal was to focus on the rights not only of women but also of all individual groups that may have experienced discrimination in our society or in the practice of law. At the time, there were no women jurists sitting on the bench in Orange County. The group quickly grew to over thirty members, comprised of almost an equal number of men and women.
In 1979, OCWLA became an affiliate organization of the Orange County Bar Association. Its founding members wanted to stay true to the group’s original goals – the advancement of women in the legal profession and the support of diversity both on the bench and in law firm partnerships.
Today, with around 400 members, including over 50 Lifetime Members, OCWLA supports the advancement of women by providing a professional network, raising awareness of discrimination and bias, and supporting charitable organizations. OCWLA has also grown to fulfill not just the educational and marketing needs of its members, but also the needs of the community at large. OCWLA is a proud supporter of multiple local non-profits, and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to these philanthropies through its bar stipend program and its philanthropic giving program.